Katie Sgarro is a M.S. candidate at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management. She received her BA cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania.
She is also Co-Founder & President of AsylumConnect, a nonprofit startup creating the first online, centralized resource database for LGBTQ asylum seekers in the U.S. For her work on AsylumConnect, Katie was selected as the winner of the MCC15 Millennium Peace Prize at the UN and a finalist for the Forbes 2016 30 Under 30 List Social Entrepreneurs category. Her work has also been recognized by the MCJ/Amelior Foundation, Business Today, NYU, CGI U, and the city government of Seattle. She has been published and featured in The Huffington Post, The Advocate, Out Magazine, G Philly, Forbes.com, Penn's Wharton Entrepreneurship Blog, and other outlets.
Growing up, Katie experienced first-hand how a lack of support can significantly impact the confidence and overall educational experience of LGBTQ students. She co-founded UPchieve to build a diverse network of volunteers who can serve as positive role models for LGBTQ youth as well as other disadvantaged student groups.
UPchieve looks forward to learning from Katie's experience in social entrepreneurship.
Sam Sawchuk, Advisor
Sam Sawchuk is currently the co-founder of Sandwich for a Story, a global awareness initiative that looks to break down stigma between those suffering from homelessness and the rest of society. Sandwich for a Story has impacted thousands of people across the globe by using storytelling as a medium to changes peoples perceptions towards those without a home.
Sam also serves as the co-founder and CEO of BrandSchools, a company which empowers youth to create their path through digital skills learning. A passionate believer in the power of technology to connect and inspire, Sam has held a variety of positions in the technology industry at Ayogo Health, Uber, Tembo Education, Hired and Startup Calgary. Sam’s work has been featured at the United Nations, TEDx, the Clinton Global Initiative, as well as numerous national media outlets.
UPchieve is thrilled to utilize Sam's experience in education, technology, and organizational leadership.
Ashley Adams, PhD, Advisor
Ashley Adams is the Director of Student Affairs at Penn State University. In this role, she manages and supports the co curricular learning experience of Penn State’s World Campus students. She has worked in higher education for over 7 years and has experience in multiple functional areas including admissions, academic advising, retention and student support.
Ashley has a passion for advancing student services which is evident from her numerous presentations at local and regional higher education conferences. Ashley received her bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Truman State University, Master of Arts in Sociology from DePaul University and earned her PhD Higher Education Administration from Saint Louis University.
UPchieve is very excited to learn from Ashley’s extensive experience in online learning.